You know, I have a tendency to say two little words to myself when I’m upset:
These are the perfect words to talk myself out of a panic attack. I use them frequently, and for good reason. They’re short. They’re simple. They’re easy to remember.
So, it’s okay.
It’s okay that I keep failing every time I try. It’s okay that I get told I’m ‘amateur’, and that I don’t have the connections it takes to succeed, and that I thought I did but it turns out I was wrong. It’s okay that I have received over eighty rejections for my work, and yet I’m expected to just brush it off, smile, and keep going, as though all eighty of those rejections weren’t stabs to the fucking heart. It’s okay. It’s fine. I’ll get passed this.
And, you know, it’s okay that I’m twenty-three years old and packing the baggage of a fifty-year-old divorcee. It’s okay that I haven’t had a relationship since I was sixteen. It’s okay that the only kisses I’ve ever had were either forced, regretted, or drunk. It’s okay.
And it’s okay that I have been low-key obsessed with feminism for the past four years, and as a result, end up repeating the same conversations over and over and over again, with people who don’t seem to understand what I’m saying when I tell them, “women are people too”. It’s okay that the #metoo movement seems to have been dropped by the general public because we’re more worried about the men who might be falsely accused than about the women who are being assaulted. It’s okay that I keep getting called a slut, a dyke, or mentally ill, because I identify as a feminist (is there anything wrong with being any of those things?). It’s okay that people have told me and my sisters that we deserve to be raped. It’s okay.
It’s okay that I’m not allowed to be angry, because if I am, then I am playing into the stereotype of the ‘angry feminist’. It’s okay that I have to re-read every comment that I write fifty times to make sure it doesn’t offend anyone, and then I have to show sympathy to the man who does the same to his comments to me (because, you know, I’m just too aggressive).
It’s okay that my life feels stagnant and doomed and pitiful. It’s okay that trying my hardest doesn’t feel hard enough. It’s okay that I feel lost and broken and smothered. It’s okay.
Well, it isn’t right, but it’s okay.
Because, you know what? That’s today. Today, I’m angry about my situation – I’m fucking furious. I won’t deny that.
I try to pretend that I’m some unflappable goddess that has an inspirational story for everything. That nobody can ever make me angry, because I’m just too rational and intelligent for all that. But the truth is, I get hurt. Life can be cruel, and I don’t have any great words of wisdom for that. It doesn’t make it any less worthy of saying.
And anyone who has hurt me will just have to watch as I turn these rejections around, won’t they? I can’t fail forever – sooner or later, someone is going to have to change that ‘amateur’ to ‘amazing’, that ‘no’ to a ‘yes’. I will make it happen, I will force it if I have to. I will work hard, and I won’t give up, and I will become so talented and persistent that nothing else will matter. And when I do, it’s going to be a lot harder to hurt me, isn’t it?
So it’s okay. Until that day comes, it’s okay. That’s all I have to say.
Published by Ciara Hall